Having been the guy who got made into the scapegoat and got a swift kick out the door, I can tell you this is true in some places. I didn't get fired, but they sure made it in my best interest to leave, ostensibly because I was set up to fail by the process and I failed to realize they really didn't want to fix the problem soon enough. Being true in some places does not make it universal. MOST places I've worked actually made it a point to accurately find and fix "problems" as they came up and didn't waste the time and effort necessary to find the scapegoat to blame in a sea of CYA documents.
I suspect that VW just doesn't have the corporate culture of ethics over profit, at least at some level. What's happening now is they are in the midst of figuring out exactly what happened. Who did what, who authorized what and who can CYA the most effectively. Problem here is that *somebody* or a group of *somebodies* broke the law in a really big way and there is a real risk of being walked out of the building in handcuffs. This is when corporate lawyers start echoing the standard refrains of "Don't destroy any records", "where is your search warrant" and "don't talk to investigators or the press without a lawyer present" lines to everybody.
Somebody is likely going to jail, or at least facing criminal charges in both the EU and the USA.... Expect there to be a lot of finger pointing from here on out.